Day 54. Stugudalen to Nedalshytta

Posted by: James on February 23, 2009

Distance 18km | Time 5.5hrs | Ascent 410m | Descent 270m

Day 54. The forest track heading east from Stugudalen up to the mountainsI had a good breakfast with an older couple who were also staying at the hotel. They were both over 80 and made an effort to go 10 km a day. During the winter this was on skis in the summer on foot. They were fitter than many 40 year old’s I have met recently.

I left at 0830 and went first to the shop to buy chocolate. Then I put on my balaclava, pulled up my hood and started through the snow showers up the snow covered track.

This track was cleared by tractor for about 5 km so people who had leisure cabins beside it could drive to them. There was still a deep cover of compressed snow on the track.

Day 54. The view over the birch woods and southern Nesjoen lake near Nedalshytta cabinI went up past numerous cabins, their mostly turf roofs thick with snow, until they ended as the birch forest started to thin. Here the clearing of the track ended, but there was a scooter track for another 5 km to the edge of the forest. This was a godsend otherwise I would be making slow heavy progress in deep snow.

At the edge of the forest I met a young Swede dressed in white pulling a sledge with a rifle on his back-not a usual sight. We naturally got chatting. He was a fox hunter paid by the Swedish and Norwegian wildlife departments to hunt and kill red fox in the Sylan mountains.

The reason was that the Sylan mountains are one of the last bastions of the Arctic Fox. Indeed 5 were released here recently in a cross border cooperation scheme. Red foxes are somewhat bigger and better at coping in the mountains and are competing with their Arctic cousins to the latters detriment The wildlife departments employ him to keep the red foxes in check. So far this year though he had only shot 2.

He told me a bit more about the unfortunate Karoliner army I mentioned yesterday. Apparently most of the survivors of the storm also died soon after with gangrene induced by frostbite. Of the original 10,000 less than 1000 made it home.

We parted after a good half hours chat in the snow showers and I carried on to the treeline. There were frequent snow showers and some were quite heavy. The visibility was very poor but there was a line of stakes to follow. This made a huge difference as it gave me confidence I was going in the right direction and didn’t have to check the map, compass and GPS all the time.

After a couple of hours in the near white out the line of stakes veered north and dropped down into the upper birch woods again. The weather also improved and the visibility got much better. Ptarmigan which were sheltering under the snow took off as I approached.

There were two streams to cross which may have been open water so I made for the bridges marked on the map. Thereafter there was just a short climb up through birch forest to the large cabin.

This short climb however proved to be quite difficult. The terrain was knolly and the snow was deep. It took me a good half hour to complete the km up to the cabin. During this time the weather was very calm but as soon as I reached the cabin another heavy blizzard arrived

My usual cabin routine was made much easier since this cabin had electricity. There were electric heaters in addition to the wood stove. I lit the stove and put on the heaters and within a short time the cabin was warm and cosy.

After a couple of hours 3 dutch arrived. You can almost take for granted dutch are nice and these 3 reinforced that generalization. I got the blog out of the way and then we setled down to a nice evening. They had come from where I was heading tomorrow and said there was little problem but they didn’t see much.

It had been an ok day. The poor weather and lack of views took the shine off the day a bit but it was great to be back in the mountains and in cabins again after the last week of relative civilization.

3 Responses to “Day 54. Stugudalen to Nedalshytta”

  1. Jostein Says:

    Looks like you’ve had an ok trip so far.
    Just felt like giving you a little tip for later in your journey. If your travel-route take you trough Lierne, you may be interested in visting my grand parents. They live up there, and earlier they have taken in quite some of you guys traveling the length of Norway for free(including Lars Monsen..;). If you’re interested, send me a mail or something and I could send you a GPS-position of their cabins or something.

    Have a safe trip,


  2. DAVID HART Says:

    Dear James,
    Having planted tea in Ceylon with your parents many moons ago, I took the opportunity when in Crewkerne last week to have a coffee with Peter and Elizabeth, who put me onto your website. My neice, Jane Mackey now owns “Cranford” – which was once owned by them.
    You have a very interesting site and I’m enjoying watching your progress. Well done!
    David Hart

  3. Supavinee L.anurak Says:

    Hi James,
    I am so glad to know that you have met my boyfriend ‘s parents. The Older Couple you met at the hotel where you staying. Yes, my boyfriend said: they walk 10 km every day. I am looking forward to meet my boyfriend in Norway end of Mar, and I have never met his parents before. It is amazing to find part of your story mentioned about them. I am so thrilled to read your adventure. I will keep on reading your story.